Beata, 2 ½, had always been a restless sleeper. It was a challenge to get her to sleep each night, and once asleep she would burrow herself into the side of one of her parents. She woke up screaming inconsolably from her naps each day and many times at night, as well. Sleep training was something that her parents decided they did not want to do, but Scott and Beth were tired. More than that, they knew that Beata was probably not getting a good night’s sleep, either.
It seems that sleep-deprived parents are given two choices: cry- it-out or just wait until they outgrow it. But is there another way? Was my son’s lack of sleep more than just an inconvenience? Was he trying to communicate something to me through his night waking?
She paused for a moment. This pause was for her. She centered herself around the realization that her child was distressed and this was how he was expressing it in this moment. She wasn’t going to do what he was demanding. That would not be healthy for either of them. But she stopped what she was doing and gave him her full attention. She ignored his behavior in this moment and focused on him, her child, who was clearly having a rough time.
The challenge of being a parent today isn’t a lack of information. In fact, information overload has made parenting more challenging. Especially when you consider that the answers for your family aren’t going to come from the outside, but from within yourself. After all, who knows you and your family better? Sometimes, though, we find ourselves needing some guidance or some suggestions beyond the usual time-outs or other parenting strategies that just don’t seem to be working.
“My son refuses to help out. He isn’t very independent. He wants me to do a lot for him and so I do. But I resent it.”
It brought up a great question. How do parents navigate those situations when we need our child to help out without resorting to yelling, hitting, or threatening? How can we consciously parent through it?
“I’m so upset! He’s working completely against me. No matter what I do, he continues to speak to me disrespectfully. I’ve tried punishing him, but he doesn’t seem to care. What am I supposed to do? I want a good relationship with my son, but he’s making it impossible!”
Maybe you can relate to this mom’s struggle. She had tried all the usual suggestions, but things hadn’t improved. She had no idea what to do next. Many parents feel this way and find themselves at the end of their rope.
I’ve been there as a parent myself. I wanted to parent from a loving place, but my kid’s behaviors were driving me crazy. Like a really bad kind of crazy. I didn’t know what to do.
I did not realize what exactly made me feel so often overwhelmed by my 3 young children (a 4-year-old and 18-month-old twins), or how my actions could be impacting their behavior. I was careful from early on not to build dependence playing with me, hoping they would learn to play on their own, which was generally successful. So I was very confused about why they usually just wanted to be held, worn, or sit on my lap instead of play. It was impacting me and making feel touched out too much of the time. I couldn’t just leave them alone without supervision to get a break, and it wasn’t good for them to have a mom with no energy or patience, either. Something needed to change.
“I’m really struggling with nursing my 2 year old,” the mother confided. “I can’t say this to very many people because most people just say that I should wean. But that doesn’t feel right to me, either. So I nurse her even though I really don’t feel like it and I resent her for it. I want to meet Sarah’s needs and I want to be the best parent I can for my daughter, but this isn’t working for me.”
Question: We had a huge issue with repeated disrespect and abuse from my father and we have stopped having contact completely as a result. My kids don’t understand why they can’t see their grandfather anymore and I’m not really sure how to talk to them about it. They’re still really young and telling the Read More
Your child is on the playground and falls. She isn’t injured badly, but clearly the wind has been knocked out and it scared her. What do you do? How do you feel in that moment? Are you stifling your own fears? (She could really have gotten badly injured!!) Are you feeling disconnected? (She shouldn’t have been doing that and she deserves to get hurt.) Are you proud because she brushes herself off and goes back to playing? Are you annoyed when she bursts into tears and comes running over to you?